Knowing the job that a literature review does means you can be more targeted and systematic in your literature searching. New discoveries don't materialise out of nowhere; they build upon the findings of previous experiments and investigations. A literature review shows how the investigation you are conducting fits with what has gone before and puts it into context. If you are doing a thesis, dissertation, or a long report it is likely that you will need to include a literature review. If you are doing a lab write-up or a shorter report, some background reading may be required to give context to your work, but this is usually included as an analysis in the introduction and discussion sections.
Language of the literature review
The Literature Review | A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
A literature review summarizes and synthesizes the existing scholarly research on a particular topic. Literature reviews are a form of academic writing commonly used in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. However, unlike research papers, which establish new arguments and make original contributions, literature reviews organize and present existing research. As a student or academic, you might produce a literature review as a standalone paper or as a portion of a larger research project.
Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper
People often treat writing the literature review in an academic paper as a formality. Usually, this means simply listing various studies vaguely related to their work and leaving it at that. But this overlooks how important the literature review is to a well-written experimental report or research paper.
Published on 22 February by Shona McCombes. Revised on 9 June A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic.